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INTRODUCTORY  ESSAY.                                  79
directions at sea.    At the commencement of the vernal equi-
nox, the south-west monsoon is very local in its character,
the heat being greatest over a small region in southern India.
At the saine time Arabia and the countries east of Persia are
much heated, and cause a southerly wind to blow from the
ocean west of India, towards Persia and Afghanistan, while
an east wind blows up the valley of the Ganges.   After April
the northern parts of India become much hotter, and the di-
rection of the southerly monsoon is remarkably influenced,
as has been well pointed out by Dove, by the great heat of
Tibet, Siberia, and Tartary, which, in consequence of their
cloudless climate/ acquire an almost tropical temperature dur-
ing the summer months, and attract the. currents northwards.
I. The .south-west or summer monsoon.   This, in almost all
parts of India, is a sea wind, and is therefore loaded with va-
pour.    On the west coast of the Madras Peninsula it comes
in contact with the range of mountains called the Western
Ghats, upon which it deposits a great part of its moisture;
in its further course it meets with no greater elevation in
southern India, the eastern parts of which arc comparatively:
dry.   On the coasts of Orissa and Bengal the direction of this
wind is more to the north, from the heating of the continent
to the north and north-west, and much moisture is deposited
on. the mountains of these provinces.    In northern India the
rainy season commences later than in the Peninsula, because
it is not till June thai; the sun acts sufficiently energetically
on the Tibetan mountains and the plains of temperate Asia
to attract in that direction the full force of the monsoonv
This wind, after passing over the plains of Bengal, comes ii\
contact with the Khasia mountains, upon which, and upon
the whole chain  of the Himalaya, it  discharges itself in
heavy rains diminishing in amount as we advance westward,
with the increasing distance from the sea.    At Calcutta .the .
wind, during the whole of the monsoon, from April onwards,
blows from the east of south, but after the beginning of Au-
gust, when the great rain-fall in eastern Bengal has can-